Pennsylvania has the most ridiculous laws in the nation when it comes to the sale of fireworks.

Presently, people from other states can purchase fireworks in Pennsylvania, but residents of the Keystone State can buy only specified ones such as sparklers and less potent explosives.

This is crazy.

Suppose you pull up to a fireworks stand along the interstate and someone with a Michigan license plate parks next to you. The individual from Michigan can get any fireworks he wants at the stand. You can't, even though they're being sold in the state in which you pay taxes, pay for maintaining the environment, and pay for fire protection.

Rules should be the same for residents of Pennsylvania as they are for anyone else doing business in our state.

Suppose the same rules applied to other things. It wouldn't be fair. It doesn't even sound legal.

This is not to imply that fireworks should become legal in Pennsylvania. In fact, it's just the opposite. Lawmakers should ban all sales of potent fireworks in Pennsylvania with the exception of manufacturing firms which sell them to licensed professionals for exhibits.

Fireworks are dangerous. They cause fires, injuries, and even deaths when in the wrong hands.

There are enough professional displays that individuals don't have to put on private shows and risk harm to other property and people.

It's time for lawmakers to revisit the fireworks law and make it the same for residents and non-residents of Pennsylvania.

Hopefully that will be to ban the sale of dangerous fireworks to all but professionals.

By RON GOWER

rgower@tnonline.com